This week just happens to be Fire Prevention Week in North Carolina. This story is a perfect example of the importance of teaching children about fire safety and what to do in the event of a fire.
Around 12 o’clock Tuesday, 5 year-old Taylor was at her grandparents home on E. Wimberly Street in Angier. Leafy West and Taylor were having an ordinary day when the pre-schooler noticed smoking coming from a carport laundry room. Taylor immediately notified her grandmother and the two hurriedly ran out of the burning home. Leafy left her cell phone inside the house but she immediately saw a neighbor and had them call 911.
The Angier-Black River, Buies Creek, and Northwest Harnett Fire Departments arrived on the scene and were able to quickly contain the fire. Clarence and Leafy West had four pets. One pet ran out of the home with Taylor and Leafy. Firefighters rescued three others from the burning home. One dog had to be given oxygen but survived.
Earlier this week Harnett County Fire Marshal Rodney Daniels said during Fire Prevention Week, “Not every hero wears a cape. Plan and practice your escape.” Taylor is now one of those heroes.
Taylor’s older brothers recently learned about fire safety and what to do in the event of a fire. They shared the message with their younger sister who remembered exactly what to do.
“Taylor and her grandmother had planned their escape and were able to follow through with their escape to safety,” said D. Banks Wallace, Chief Deputy Fire Marshal for Harnett County Emergency Services. “The actions exemplify a real example emphasizing the importance of educating citizens about fire safety in Harnett County. Thank you to all involved in the previous education, (Tuesday’s) response, and thank you Taylor!”
Wallace said the fire started as a result of a short in an electrical outlet. It also damaged a van parked under the carport.
The grandfather, Clarence West, along with two teens who also live at the home weren’t there on Tuesday when the fire started. No injuries were reported thanks in large part to 5 year-old Taylor and her quick action.